The high school volleyball season is off and running. And while a full slate of conference matches is still a couple of weeks away, many Hi-Line teams certainly got their feet wet this past weekend.
Friday night, the Chinook Sugarbeeters opened their season with an impressive non-conference win over the Fort Benton Longhorns. The Beeters defeated the Longhorns by scores of 25-10, 21-25, 22-25, 25-17 and 15-9. It was a gutsy performance from the Beeters, who rallied from a 2-1 deficit to secure their first win of 2014. Chinook and Fort Benton could once again be two of the top teams in the Northern C this season.
Things didn’t go as well for the North Star Knights and Chester/J-I Hawks Friday night.
North Star opened its season with a three-game loss to Dutton-Brady. The Knights fell by scores of 26-24, 25-21 and 30-28. Every set was back-and-forth, but the Knights just couldn’t quite find the winning point in any of them.
The Hawks also lost a tough opener to rival Sunburst. The Refiners beat the Hawks by scores of 25-13, 27-25 and 25-17. Allix Goldhahn paced C/J-I with 11 kills, while Erin Wolfe had three aces.
On Saturday, area teams turned their attention to playing in some season-opening jamboree or tournament formats.
Chinook, Rocky Boy and Harlem played at the Malta Invitational, where the Beeters finished tied for third. In bracket play, Chinook defeated Scobey 25-21 and 25-24, before falling to Grass Range 25-18 and 25-17 in the semifinals. Harlem lost to Scobey 25-13 and 25-15 in the first round of bracket play, while Rocky Boy was beaten by Plentywood 25-13 and 25-7. Grass Range went on to defeat Malta in the championship match.
Area teams were also in action in Belt on Saturday, at the Belt Showcase.
In Pool A, North Star won twice, lost once and earned two splits, while Big Sandy went 0-4 in Pool B. The Knights also went on to defeat Denton-Stanford-Geyser by scores of 25-18 and 15-13, while the Pioneers were beaten by Power 25-20 and 25-7. Cascade defeated Belt in the championship match.
Finally on Saturday, C/J-I and Box Elder took part in the Refiner Showcase in Sunburst.
And it was a good day for the Bears, who are playing their first season of varsity volleyball in three years. In pool play, Box Elder lost to Great Falls Central, Dutton-Brady and Sunburst, but the Bears rebounded to beat Simms-Augusta in three sets, by scores of 25-13, 25-27 and 15-6. Box Elder would go on to lose to Sunburst in the semifinals.
Things didn’t go as well for the young Hawks. In pool play, C/J-I beat Simms-Augusta, but lost to Fort Benton and Valier. In bracket play, the Hawks were eliminated by Great Falls Central by scores of 25-19 and 25-19. Sunburst wound up beating Great Falls Central in the championship match.
The tournament action continues this weekend with a pair of big events on the Hi-Line. Chinook will host the Chinook Invitational Friday-Saturday, while North Star plays host to the North Star Showcase Friday-Saturday in Rudyard and Gildford.
Dutton-Brady def. North Star
26-24, 25-21, 30-28
Dutton-Brady -- Kills 30 (Taylor Reeve 9), Blocks 3 (Sarah Human 2), Aces 11 (Three with 3), Digs 44 (Aubree Hitcock 14), Assists 26 (Reeve 16).
North Star -- Statistics not reported.
Sunburst def. Chester/J-I
25-13, 27-25, 25-17
Sunburst -- Kills 22 (Krista Hauschulz 10), Blocks 3 (Three tied for 1), Aces 8 (Three tied for 2), Digs 40 (Hannah Hauschulz 24), Assists 15 (Two tied for 7).
C/J-I -- Kills 19 (Allix Goldhahn 11), Blocks 1 (Two tied for 1/2), Aces 8 (Erin Wolfe 3), Digs 7 (Jeraca Tempel 3), Assists 16 (Two tied for 8).
Chinook def. Fort Benton
25-10, 21-25, 22-25, 25-17, 15-9
(Statistics not reported)
Round 1 -- Scobey def. Harlem 25-13, 25-15; Grass Range def. Nashua; Plentywood def. Rocky Boy 25-13, 25-7; Saco/Hinsdale def. Poplar
Round 2 -- Chinook def. Scobey 25-21, 25-24; Grass range def. Highwood; Malta def. Plentywood 25-22, 25-22; TriCity def. Saco/Hinsdale
Semifinal -- Grass Range def. Chinook 25-18, 25-17; Malta def. Tri City 25-12, 25-23
Championship -- Grass Range def. Malta 25-21, 25-14
Pool Play A -- Belt def. Power 25-16, 25-24; RPR def. Win-Roy 25-16, 22-16; Belt def. North Star 25-14, 25-22; RPR def. Power 25-22, 25-17; Win-Roy split North Star 25-20, 12-25; Belt split RPR 25-18, 20-25; Win-Roy def. Power 25-18, 25-24; North Star split RPR 16-25, 25-23; Win-Roy split Belt 25-21, 10-25; North Star def. Power 25-13, 25-16
Pool Play B -- Cascade def. Centerville 25-17, 25-6; DSG def. Big Sandy 25-14, 25-11; Cascade def. Harlo 25-17, 25-16; Centerville def. DSG 25-18, 25-16; Harlo def. Big Sandy 25-24, 25-18; Cascade split DSG 22-25, 25-13; Centerville def. Big Sandy 25-8, 25-13; DSG def. Harlo 25-24, 25-12; Cascade def. Big Sandy 25-16, 25-17; Harlo split Centerville 25-19, 16-25
1B Cascade def. 1A Belt 25-24, 25-22; 2B Centerville def. 2A RPR 25-17, 25-9; 3A North Star def. 3B DSG 25-18, 15-13; 4A Win-Roy def. 4B Harlo 25-18, 15-12; 5A Power def. 5B Big Sandy 25-20, 25-7
Refiner Volleyball Preseason Showcase
Valier def. C/J-I 25-15, 25-17
Fort Benton def. Simms/Augusta JV 25-15, 25-7
Valier def. Simms/Augusta JV 25-10, 25-23
Fort Benton def. C/J-I 24-26, 25-21
Fort Benton def. Valier 20-25, 25-19
C/J-I def. Simms/Augusta JV 25-11, 25-21
Sunburst def. Dutton/Brady 25-12, 26-24
GFCC def. Box Elder 25-14, 25-7
Sunburst def. GFCC 25-18, 25-17
Dutton/Brady def. Box Elder 25-17, 25-21
Sunburst def. Box Elder 25-11, 25-13
Dutton/Brady def. GFCC 25-20, 25-22
Sunburst def. Fort Benton 25-9, 25-9
Valier def. Dutton/Brady 25-22, 25-17
GFCC def. C/J-I 25-19, 25-19
Box Elder def. Simms/Augusta JV 25-13, 25-27, 15-6
Sunburst def. Box Elder 25-15, 25-10
GFCC def. Valier 23-25, 25-20, 15-3
Sunburst def. GFCC 25-22, 25-11